Hybrid learning ensures human interaction and minimizes stress

Middle and Upper School students returend to campus Sept. 29 on a hybrid learning schedule. After three straight weeks of long and tedious distanced classes, the new schedule was finally put into place with strict COVID-19 restriction protocols, including brand new, state-of-the-art HVAC systems, one-way hallways, limited class sizes, and plexiglass dividers in the cafeteria and small gym for lunch.
The schedule has set up students and faculty for success. For upper school students, in-person classes occur on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesdays alternate (9-10 go in one week; 11-12 go in the next), and distanced classes take place on Thursdays and Fridays.
Hybrid learning has been and will continue to be much less troublesome and less stressful than distance learning is. During online classes, most students were utterly exhausted and had pounding headaches at the end of each day due to the extended amounts of screen time and a small number of breaks throughout the day. Adding on, a lot of different students and faculty members had rapidly declining mental health due to the prolonged screen time and minimal human interaction. Although SPA has done their best to combat these problems by adding a five minute break time between classes for online students, it is still too much time on the screen.

Hybrid learning has been and will continue to be much less troublesome and less stressful than distance learning is.”

The ability to be in the classroom is an experience that can and will never change. It is much easier to pay attention and grasp concepts much faster, causing more substantial success rates. Adding on, it is always important to set out times throughout the day for students to meet with teachers, get some extra homework down, and chill out a little. While being distanced, it is harder to learn, as every student can completely tune out. Over the computer screen, teachers cannot tell when a student is not paying attention, when they are on their phones, playing video games, or even making something to eat. Technology problems have made a considerable impact during distance learning. Some students have hard times getting to class, whether it is due to technology glitches, no WIFI, or other computer errors. Being in person is a much easier route for both students and teachers.
Even though students still need to participate in up to three days of online learning each week, the in-person break, filled with human interaction and a sliver of normalcy, completely help students stay on the right track with school. After such a long break from others, especially friends, it was difficult for most students to ‘go to school’ without what most people would consider the best part — the communication with others.
Each distanced class, most students come into their specific Google Meet with muted microphones and no real energy for school. Usually, the teacher begins talking, the lesson starts, maybe an occasional breakout room discussion forms, and then the class is over. Besides what is most likely a 5-10 minute talk with peers and teachers, online learning does not have the same interaction and overall enjoyment.

The hybrid learning structure is much better than that of the distance, and it will stay that way throughout the year. Although COVID is a highly transmissible virus, the guidelines put into place by the SPA administration have given everyone hope that we will stay in the far superior hybrid learning schedule. For the first time since March, one facet of life is finally able to make its returns — giving students and faculty some normalcy and fun in this odd and uncertain time.

Which do you prefer, and why? Leave a comment below.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...